Barbara Windsor vows to “carry on” despite Alzheimer’s diagnosis

The EastEnders and Carry On actress thanked fans for their "lovely messages of support" after going public about her illness

Dame Barbara Windsor

Dame Barbara Windsor has vowed “to carry on”, speaking publicly for the first time since it was revealed she has Alzheimer’s disease.

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The EastEnders and Carry On actress was diagnosed in April 2014, but the news has only recently come to light as her condition has deteriorated in recent weeks with symptoms such as memory loss and confusion.

Speaking to The Sun last week, Windsor’s husband Scott Mitchell explained: “I want the public to know because they are naturally very drawn to Barbara and she loves talking to them.

“So rather than me living in fear she might get confused or upset, they’ll know that if her behaviour seems strange, it’s due to Alzheimer’s and accept it for what it is.”

Mitchell broke the story with the help of Dame Barbara’s friend, the journalist and Loose Women panelist Jane Moore.

And in a recorded message played on the ITV show, the 80-year-old actress and entertainer had a special message for Moore – and for her fans.

“Hi Jane, and all the Loose Women, it’s Barbara Windsor here,” she said.

“I just want to wish you a very happy birthday, darling Jane. Thank you, thank you so much for being a loyal and good friend and helping Scott share my recent news.”

She added: “Thank you to everyone for the lovely messages of support that I’ve been receiving, it really means such a lot to me, it truly does. Have a great day and have no fear, as I still intend to carry on, and God bless everyone.”

Dame Barbara said goodbye to her most famous role, the indomitable EastEnders matriarch Peggy Mitchell, in 2016 when the character was killed off at the actress’s own request.

She appeared in nine Carry On films, and was also in sitcoms including Dad’s Army and One Foot in the Grave.

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Last year Dame Barbara was involved in the production of Babs, a one-off BBC drama about her life written by former EastEnders writer Tony Jordan. It starred Samantha Spiro and Jaime Winstone as the actress at different points in her career.


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